|Four SoCon Teams to Participate In BracketBusters|
|Written by SoCon Sports Information|
|Thursday, 29 September 2011 11:02|
The 10th annual Sears BracketBusters, a three-day men's college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other Feb. 17-19, will feature 13 nationally televised games - on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3. The NCAA hopefuls will be selected from a pool of 142 teams from 16 conferences, the largest Sears BracketBusters pool in the event's history, which includes two team that reached the 2011 Final Four in Houston.The Southern Conference will have four teams in the event. Appalachian State and Davidson have been designated as home teams, while College of Charleston and Wofford will be on the road. The SoCon is 17-12 all-time in the event and has gone 8-1 the last two years, including a perfect 5-0 mark last season.
For the seventh straight year, ESPNU will feature five Sears BracketBusters games, while ESPN or ESPN2 will television up to six and ESPN3 will carry two. The 13 Sears BracketBusters matchups will be announced Monday, Jan. 30 with dates, times and networks. The television matchups are selected by ESPN, while a Committee of Conference Commissioners determines the additional non-televised games.
Sears BracketBusters, named because of the success of the teams in NCAA Championship play, will provide the 26 televised teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday. The 116 teams not selected for Sears BracketBusters will compete against each other through the same three days.
The 142-team field will feature teams from 16 conferences: 12 each from Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference and Southland; 11 each from Ohio Valley Conference and Big South; 10 each from Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley and Summit League; nine each from America East, Big Sky and Big West; eight from the Western Athletic Association; four from the Southern Conference; three from the MEAC; and two from the West Coast Conference.
As part of the agreement, all 13 of the Sears BracketBusters home teams in televised games, as well as the remaining 58 home squads, will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the 2013-14 season.
Sears BracketBusters is part of ESPN's college basketball franchise programming, along with Rivalry Week, Feast Week presented by Lowe's, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick's Sporting Goods.
Teams participating this season in Sears BracketBusters have produced 87 appearances in the last six NCAA Championships.
Sears BracketBusters Home and Away Teams (Matchups announced Jan. 30)
Home Team Visiting Team
Montana Eastern Washington
Butler Loyola (Ill.)
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Loyola (Md.) Niagara
Ball State Akron
Morgan State Delaware State
Creighton Indiana State
Austin Peay Morehead State
Appalachian State College of Charleston
McNeese State Central Arkansas
Idaho Fresno State
West Coast Conference
Loyola Marymount St. Mary's (Calif.)
Sears BracketBusters in NCAA Championship play from 2006-11:
2010 NCAA Championship: 12 berths - Butler, Morgan State, Murray State, New Mexico State, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Old Dominion, Siena, Utah State, UC-Santa Barbara, Vermont, Winthrop. 10 wins overall: Butler defeated UTEP, Murray State, Syracuse, Kansas State, Michigan State; Murray State defeated Vanderbilt; Northern Iowa defeated UNLV and Kansas; Ohio defeated Georgetown; and Old Dominion defeated Notre Dame.
2009 NCAA Championship: 13 berths - Akron, Binghamton, Butler, Cal State Northridge, Cleveland State, Morehead State, Morgan State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Portland State, Siena, Utah State, and Virginia Commonwealth. Three wins overall: Cleveland State defeated Wake Forest; Morehead State defeated Alabama State and Siena beat Ohio State.
2008 NCAA Championship: 15 Berths - Austin Peay, Boise State, Butler, Cal State-Fullerton, Davidson, Drake, George Mason, Kent State, Oral Roberts, Portland State, Saint Mary's, San Diego, Siena, UMBC and Winthrop. Six wins overall: Davidson defeated Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin to reach the Elite Eight; Butler defeated South Alabama; Siena defeated Vanderbilt; and San Diego defeated Connecticut.
2007 NCAA Championship: 17 Berths - Albany, Butler, Creighton, Davidson, Eastern Kentucky, Holy Cross, Long Beach State, Miami (Ohio), Nevada, New Mexico State, Niagara, Old Dominion, Oral Roberts, Southern Illinois, Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop and Wright State. Seven wins overall: Butler defeated Old Dominion and Maryland to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Southern Illinois defeated Holy Cross and Virginia Tech to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Nevada defeated Creighton; Virginia Commonwealth defeated Duke; and Winthrop defeated Notre Dame.
2006 NCAA Championship: 19 Berths - Albany, Bradley, Bucknell, George Mason, Iona, Kent State, Montana, Murray State, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Northern Iowa, Northwestern State, Pacific, Oral Roberts, Utah State, Southern Illinois, UW-Milwaukee, Winthrop and Wichita State. Twelve wins overall: Bradley defeated Kansas and Pittsburgh to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Bucknell defeated Arkansas; George Mason defeated Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut to reach the Final Four; Montana defeated Nevada; Northwestern State defeated Iowa; UW-Milwaukee defeated Oklahoma; and Wichita State defeated Seton Hall and Tennessee to reach the Sweet Sixteen.
About Sears BracketBusters
The Sears BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Tournament play through the years, provides programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences. Sears BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week, Feast Week Presented by Lowe's, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers and Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick's Sporting.
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